We’re in the midst of a little tour de sunshine – a few days in California to visit friends, and then a getaway to Austin to see the hip side of Texas. We kicked things off on Thursday evening as we boarded a plane bound for Oakland and said goodbye to a soaking wet Seattle. After a smooth flight and our requisite stop at In N Out for dinner, we made our way to Amanda and Josh’s place in Turlock and settled into their cozy home, thankful for that special kind of comfort that comes in being with old friends.

Amanda gave birth to a precious baby girl four weeks ago, and I was over the moon with excitement to cradle this little one in my arms. Sadie is absolutely perfect, and it was such a blessing to be able witness one of my dearest friends and her husband in this sweet, life-altering new-baby phase. Despite the 3 am feedings and the mounds of dirty diapers, this little girl has succeeded in only magnifying Amanda and Josh’s very best qualities. They are still wonderfully easy-going, rolling with the punches of parenthood with grace and laughter. They’re tender and affectionate, in a way that’s completely natural but also new and heart-achingly beautiful. They give Shane and I much to aspire to. And to look forward to.

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Because the baby is still in that glorious sleeps-18-hours-a-day phase, Amanda and I had plenty of time to catch up with one another during naptime. We made our usual visit to our favorite shoe store in Modesto and critiqued each other’s tastes with brutal, laughter-filled honesty, we hit the mall to do a little summer accessorizing, we shared notes on pregnancy and then picked up Slurpees from 7-11, because it turns out that pregnancy thirst sticks around and just becomes breast-feeding thirst. I told Shane the other night, it just feels good to be with Amanda, to be known and listened to and encouraged. It’s a special thing we’ve got goin’ on.

And there were some pretty great moments with the rest of the girls. Amanda, Kelly, and I headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant on Friday night to meet up with Francine for dinner, and I was surprised to find the table strewn with baby-themed confetti and loaded with gifts for little Schnell. A surprise baby shower! Blankies and a rubber duck and a bag full of “must-have’s” – I have some incredibly thoughtful friends.

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On Saturday night, we all gathered at Amanda’s for pizza and chatting, more laughing about old times and talking about what’s ahead. I hope we’re still having these reunions 20 years from now. And I hope we’re just as silly then.

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Francine’s 6 month-old little girl had me at hello with her big brown eyes and her roly-poly legs.

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And then seeing Josh try to handle two babies at once, well that was just…priceless.

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We headed out on Sunday morning – I gave Sadie one last snuggle and then handed her back to Amanda, feeling especially sad about saying good-bye this time around. I feel like the passage of time between visits will be so much more evident now, with the addition of little ones that change so quickly. But there’s solace in knowing that Amanda and I will pick up right where we left off next time we see each other. Some things never change.

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One Comment

  1. Pat says:

    You look beautiful holding a baby and carrying a baby!!